Paneer is Indian cheese and it is used for making a wide range of delicacies ranging from curries and fried snacks to sweets and stuffed parathas. It is easily available in the stores, but fresh paneer can be prepared at home by following the below mentioned procedure.
- Take 1/2 litre milk and allow it to boil on medium flame.
- When the milk boils, add lemon juice to it and stir. You can see the curds separating from the milk. Keep it covered with the lid for 3-4 minutes till the entire curd is separated from the whey.
- Place a strainer over a collector vessel and spread a thin cotton cloth over it. Pour the curdled milk on the strainer so that the curds are separated in the cloth and the whey is collected in the vessel at the bottom.
- Tie the cloth using two alternate ends of the cloth. Use the other two ends to tie the cloth to a churner or any other straight rod like object.
- Allow the churner to rest atop a hollow vessel so that the remaining liquid, if any is collected in the vessel and the paneer turns soft and firm. Keep the suspension undisturbed for 1 hour.
- When all the water is drained out, untie the cloth and wrap the cloth over the paneer. Shape it in the form of a rectangular block.
- Place it atop an upside down turned vessel kept inside another vessel. Place some pressing heavy weights on top of the rectangular block so that the block turns firm. (You can use any heavy weight, I have used a grinding stone and a dosa pan made of stone to serve the purpose)
- Keep aside the balanced weight set up for around 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, keep the paneer in fridge for 1 hour and then cut it into rectangular cubes. The left over whey which is a co-product of cheese production can be used for cooking as a substitute for water since it is rich in protein.
- Note : The more milk you use, the more paneer you get. I have used just 1/2 a litre of milk which gives me around 100 gms of paneer. The milk should be whole milk and not skimmed milk.